Theropoda

theropodtheropodsTheropoda indet.theropod dinosaurtheropod dinosaursnon-avian theropodbipedal by defaultcarnivorous dinosaurdinosaurs
Theropoda ( or, from Greek θηρίον "wild beast" and πούς, ποδός "foot") or theropods are a dinosaur suborder that is characterized by hollow bones and three-toed limbs.wikipedia
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Coelurosauria

coelurosaurcoelurosaurscoelurosaurian
Theropods first appeared during the Carnian age of the late Triassic period 231.4 million years ago (Ma) and included the sole large terrestrial carnivores from the Early Jurassic until at least the close of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma. In the Jurassic, birds evolved from small specialized coelurosaurian theropods, and are today represented by about 10,500 living species.
Coelurosauria (from Greek, meaning "hollow tailed lizards") is the clade containing all theropod dinosaurs more closely related to birds than to carnosaurs.

Saurischia

saurischianEusaurischiaeusaurischian
They are generally classed as a group of saurischian dinosaurs.
All carnivorous dinosaurs (certain types of theropods) are traditionally classified as saurischians, as are all of the birds and one of the two primary lineages of herbivorous dinosaurs, the sauropodomorphs.

Compsognathus

Compsognathus longipesCompsognathus sp.
For example, a Compsognathus longipes fossil was found with a lizard in its stomach, and a Velociraptor mongoliensis specimen was found locked in combat with a Protoceratops andrewsi (a type of ornithischian dinosaur).
Compsognathus (Greek kompsos/κομψός; "elegant", "refined" or "dainty", and gnathos/γνάθος; "jaw") is a genus of small, bipedal, carnivorous theropod dinosaur.

Troodontidae

troodontidtroodontidstroodont
Several other lineages of early maniraptors show adaptations for an omnivorous diet, including seed-eating (some troodontids) and insect-eating (many avialans and alvarezsaurs).
Troodontidae is a family of bird-like theropod dinosaurs.

Ornithomimosauria

ornithomimosaurornithomimosaursArctometatarsalia
Oviraptorosaurs, ornithomimosaurs and advanced troodontids were likely omnivorous as well, and some early theropods (such as Masiakasaurus knopfleri and the spinosaurids) appear to have specialized in catching fish.
The Ornithomimosauria, ornithomimosaurs ("bird-mimic lizards") or ostrich dinosaurs are theropod dinosaurs which bore a superficial resemblance to the modern-day ostrich.

Masiakasaurus

Masiakasaurus knopfleri
Oviraptorosaurs, ornithomimosaurs and advanced troodontids were likely omnivorous as well, and some early theropods (such as Masiakasaurus knopfleri and the spinosaurids) appear to have specialized in catching fish.
Masiakasaurus is a genus of small predatory theropod dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar.

Avialae

avialanavialansbirds
Several other lineages of early maniraptors show adaptations for an omnivorous diet, including seed-eating (some troodontids) and insect-eating (many avialans and alvarezsaurs).
It is usually defined as all theropod dinosaurs more closely related to modern birds (Aves) than to deinonychosaurs, though alternative definitions are occasionally used (see below).

Alvarezsauridae

alvarezsauridalvarezsauridsParvicursorinae
Several other lineages of early maniraptors show adaptations for an omnivorous diet, including seed-eating (some troodontids) and insect-eating (many avialans and alvarezsaurs).
Although originally thought to represent the earliest known flightless birds, a consensus of recent work suggests that they evolved from an early branch of maniraptoran theropods.

Carnotaurus

Carnotaurus sastrei
This type of skin is best known in the ceratosaur Carnotaurus, which has been preserved with extensive skin impressions. Shortened forelimbs in relation to hind legs was a common trait among theropods, most notably in the abelisaurids (such as Carnotaurus) and the tyrannosaurids (such as Tyrannosaurus).
Carnotaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived in South America during the Late Cretaceous period, between about 72 and 69.9 million years ago.

Jurassic

Jurassic PeriodLate JurassicJurassic era
Theropods first appeared during the Carnian age of the late Triassic period 231.4 million years ago (Ma) and included the sole large terrestrial carnivores from the Early Jurassic until at least the close of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma. In the Jurassic, birds evolved from small specialized coelurosaurian theropods, and are today represented by about 10,500 living species.
The first birds also appeared during the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs.

Triassic

Triassic PeriodLate TriassicMiddle to Late Triassic
Theropods first appeared during the Carnian age of the late Triassic period 231.4 million years ago (Ma) and included the sole large terrestrial carnivores from the Early Jurassic until at least the close of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma. In the Jurassic, birds evolved from small specialized coelurosaurian theropods, and are today represented by about 10,500 living species.
Africa shared the supercontinent's relatively uniform fauna which was dominated by theropods, prosauropods and primitive ornithischians by the close of the Triassic period.

Tyrannosaurus

Tyrannosaurus rexT-RexT. rex
Tyrannosaurus was for many decades the largest known theropod and best known to the general public. Shortened forelimbs in relation to hind legs was a common trait among theropods, most notably in the abelisaurids (such as Carnotaurus) and the tyrannosaurids (such as Tyrannosaurus).
Tyrannosaurus is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur.

Feathered dinosaur

feathered dinosaursfeatheredprotofeathers
(See feathered dinosaur).
This view began to shift during the so-called dinosaur renaissance in scientific research in the late 1960s, and by the mid-1990s significant evidence had emerged that dinosaurs were much more closely related to birds, which descended directly from the theropod group of dinosaurs and are themselves a subgroup within the Dinosauria.

Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus aegyptiacusBiggest Killer DinoDeathryuger
Since its discovery, however, a number of other giant carnivorous dinosaurs have been described, including Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus.
Spinosaurus (meaning "spine lizard") is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what now is North Africa, during the upper Albian to upper Turonian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 93.5 million years ago.

Giganotosaurus

Giganotosaurus caroliniiLandsaurus
Since its discovery, however, a number of other giant carnivorous dinosaurs have been described, including Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus.
Giganotosaurus is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Argentina, during the early Cenomanian age of the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 98 to 97 million years ago.

Juravenator

Juravenator starkiJuravenator starkii
Scansoriopteryx preserved scales near the underside of the tail, and Juravenator may have been predominantly scaly with some simple filaments interspersed.
Juravenator is a genus of small (75 cm long) coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur, which lived in the area which would someday become the top of the Franconian Jura of Germany, about 151 or 152 million years ago.

Evolution of birds

bird evolutionavian evolutionprehistoric bird
Recent theories propose that theropod body size shrank continuously over a period of 50 million years, from an average of 163 kg down to 0.8 kg, eventually evolving into modern birds.
The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropod dinosaurs named Paraves.

Tyrannosauridae

tyrannosauridtyrannosauridsTyrannosaurinae
During this period, theropods such as carnosaurs and tyrannosaurids were thought to have walked with vertical femurs and spines in an upright, nearly erect posture, using their long, muscular tails as additional support in a kangaroo-like tripodal stance. Shortened forelimbs in relation to hind legs was a common trait among theropods, most notably in the abelisaurids (such as Carnotaurus) and the tyrannosaurids (such as Tyrannosaurus).
Tyrannosauridae (or tyrannosaurids, meaning "tyrant lizards") is a family of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs that comprises two subfamilies containing up to thirteen genera, including the eponymous Tyrannosaurus.

Abelisauroidea

abelisaurabelisauroidAbelisauria
Shortened forelimbs in relation to hind legs was a common trait among theropods, most notably in the abelisaurids (such as Carnotaurus) and the tyrannosaurids (such as Tyrannosaurus).
Abelisauroidea is a clade of theropod dinosaurs within the Ceratosauria.

Carcharodontosaurus

Carcharodontosaurus saharicusCarchardontosaurusSGM-Din 1
Since its discovery, however, a number of other giant carnivorous dinosaurs have been described, including Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus.
iguidensis, which were among the larger theropods, nearly as large as or even larger than Tyrannosaurus, Giganotosaurus and Spinosaurus''.

Spinosauridae

spinosauridspinosauridsspinosaur
Oviraptorosaurs, ornithomimosaurs and advanced troodontids were likely omnivorous as well, and some early theropods (such as Masiakasaurus knopfleri and the spinosaurids) appear to have specialized in catching fish.
Spinosauridae (meaning "spined lizards") is a family of megalosauroidean theropod dinosaurs.

Anchiornis

Anchiornis huxleyi
On the other hand, some theropods were completely covered with feathers, such as the troodontid Anchiornis, which even had feathers on the feet and toes.
Anchiornis huxleyi was a small, bipedal theropod dinosaur with a triangular skull bearing several details in common with dromaeosaurids, troodontids, and primitive avialans.

Ceratosauria

ceratosaurceratosaursNeoceratosauria
Some basal theropods (e.g. Herrerasaurus, Eoraptor) had four digits, and also a reduced metacarpal V. Ceratosaurians usually had four digits, while most tetanurans had three.
Ceratosaurs are members of a group of theropod dinosaurs defined as all theropods sharing a more recent common ancestry with Ceratosaurus than with birds.

Tetanurae

tetanurantetanuransTetanurae indet.
Some basal theropods (e.g. Herrerasaurus, Eoraptor) had four digits, and also a reduced metacarpal V. Ceratosaurians usually had four digits, while most tetanurans had three.
Tetanurae (/ˌtɛtəˈnjuːriː/ or "stiff tails") is a clade that includes most theropod dinosaurs, including megalosauroids, allosauroids, tyrannosauroids, ornithomimosaurs, maniraptorans, and birds.

Bipedalism

bipedalbipedbipeds
All known theropods are known to be bipedal, with the forelimbs reduced in length and specialized for a wide variety of tasks (see below).
In the Triassic period some groups of archosaurs (a group that includes crocodiles and dinosaurs) developed bipedalism; among the dinosaurs, all the early forms and many later groups were habitual or exclusive bipeds; the birds are members of a clade of exclusively bipedal dinosaurs, the Theropods.